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Northern Ontario rallies to beat Manitoba and earn spot in Scotties semifinal

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. – Krista McCarville of Northern Ontario stole three points in the final two ends to sneak past Manitoba 7-5 in the Page 3-4 game Saturday at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

McCarville, third Kendra Lilly, second Ashley Sippala, lead Sarah Potts, alternate Oye-Sem Won Briand and coach Lorraine Lang will play Jennifer Jones and Team Canada in the semifinal at 6:30 p.m. MT.

“I think it kind of shows what we’ve done this whole week,” McCarville said of her team’s comeback after falling behind 5-2 through seven ends.

“We’ve been down the first half of the game in a lot of our games and we’ve really battled back the last five. Coming into the game we just said no matter what, as long as we’re not mathematically out of it we’re going to keep plucking along, fight hard and show that we’re supposed to be here.”

They did just that, finishing with a 7-4 round-robin record, the same as Kerri Einarson’s Manitoba from East St. Paul team, and then overcoming some erratic shooting and a bad early break on Saturday.

Potts buried one of her stones on the button in the 10th and Manitoba struggled to get at it. Einarson finally did get it moved into the four-foot and was shot but McCarville used her final stone, a delicate draw, to tap back the Manitoba stone and leave Northern Ontario sitting two.

Manitoba's Kerri Einarson will play for a Scotties bronze medal on Sunday. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

Manitoba’s Kerri Einarson will play for a Scotties bronze medal on Sunday. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

Einarson tried an angle raise of one of her stones but it didn’t work.

Manitoba was in control of the game through the seventh with a 5-2 lead built partly off a burned Northern Ontario stone in the fourth.

It was just a slight bump with the foot, but Sippala’s accidental burning of her skip’s stone opened the door for Manitoba to score two and take a 3-1 lead.

“I felt really bad, that I had let the team down,” Sippala said. “But they supported me so we just fought through it and that’s kind of what we’ve done all week.”

Manitoba had led from the second end but Northern Ontario broke loose for a deuce in the eighth and then stole one in nine for a 5-5 tie.

“When they got the two I should have just hit and stuck and they wouldn’t have gotten two,” said a visually dejected Einarson.

“We controlled the whole game. When I hit and rolled out for my second point (in seven) … that was one of the key points of the game.

“But we’ve had a lot of great moments. We just have to go out and play for the bronze and play hard.”

Einarson, third Selena Kaatz, second Liz Fyfe, lead Kristin MacCuish, alternate Briane Meilleur and coach Patti Wuthrich will play in the bronze-medal game Sunday at 1:30 p.m. MT against the loser of tonight’s semifinal.

The semifinal winner will play Alberta’s Chelsea Carey in the final Sunday at 6:30 p.m. MT.

For ticket and other event information, visit http://www.curling.ca/2016scotties/tickets/

For the complete schedule, go to http://www.curling.ca/2016scotties/draw-schedule/

This story will be posted in French as soon as possible at http://www.curling.ca/2016scotties/?lang=fr

TSN (RDS2 in French), the exclusive television network for Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will provide complete coverage of the 2016 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.